9 Dec 2013

Fears remote village schools at disadvantage in Fiji free education plan

6:44 am on 9 December 2013

The Fiji Teachers Association fears smaller schools in the country's rural areas could be left behind under the government's plans for free education.

The government announced in its 2014 budget it will fund free education for all primary and secondary school students.

The Association's general secretary, Maika Namudu, says one issue remote village schools face is lack of nearby expertise to conduct the necessary audit the government requires before it grants funds.

"Who should be doing the auditing for these schools? That's a big question. Some of them are not very close to the postmaster who will be able to do that or maybe the provincial administrator is a bit further away. Who will be the right person to check the books before the government can agree for next year's payment."

Maika Namudu says restrictions on independent fundraising will also cause problems for the smaller schools.